John Mellencamp Community
October 17, 2017, 04:28:22 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
News: Visit Mellencamp.com's NEWS section for all of the latest updates!
 
  Home Help Search Login Register  
  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 37
1  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Watch John's Performance Of "Easy Target" For The Global Citizen Festival on: September 28, 2017, 02:57:37 pm
John performed Easy Target one of the new songs from his recent release Sad Clowns &  Hillbillies at The Cutting Room in New York City, during his visit at the MSNBC's Morning Joe program. The recorded performance aired during MSNBC's exclusive broadcast of the Global Citizen Festival.   
2  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask Mellencamp.com / Re: Another Leg For Sad Clowns and Hillbillies? on: September 28, 2017, 02:52:14 pm
I was wondering if there were any rumors of more concert dates in the near future. Possibly with venues in the St. Louis/Southern Illinois/Southern Indiana area. Some of John's tours have started in this area, but this one seemed to miss this area almost completely. I hope he comes back home to the Midwest before long so his "hometown" fans can go to 1, 2, or even 3 of his concerts. I have done it on past tours and want to do it again!

Currently there are no future touring dates planned.
3  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Watch John On Morning Joe on: September 22, 2017, 10:40:09 am
 Joe Scarborough of MSNBC'S Morning Joe sits down with the one and only singer/songwriter John Mellencamp for a talk about Mellencamp 's new music, his politics, activism in the age of Trump and the history of Farm Aid .

4  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / John on MSNBC'S Morning Joe Tomorrow! on: September 21, 2017, 11:02:59 am
John sat down with MSNBC'S Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, at The Cutting Room in New York City to tape an in-depth interview, airing this Friday, September 22nd at 8:45AM, ET on MSNBC TV.

While at The Cutting Room, John performed "Easy Target," one of the new songs from his recent release Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. The recorded performance will air on Saturday, September 23rd at 3:45PM, ET during MSNBC's exclusive broadcast of the Global Citizen Festival beginning at 3PM, ET with hosts Chris Hayes and Joy Reid. Click https://www.nbcnews.com/globalcitizen to discover how to watch the concert and John's performance. 
5  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / JM if not improving, is still rockin', still great, at Allentown Fair on: September 01, 2017, 08:12:13 am
http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/mc-ent-review-allentown-fair-john-mellencamp-20170825-story.html

John J. MoserContact Reporter
When John Mellencamp sang in his nostalgic 1987 hit “Cherry Bomb” that “we were young and we were improvin',” the implication was that, at his age, he was neither.

It’s hard to say whether Mellencamp, after a career of more than 40 years and now at age 65, is getting better. But his concert Thursday headlining Allentown Fair’s grandstand showed his performance skills still are great, and his music as relevant as ever — perhaps even more so in our troubled times and to an audience that also is no longer young.

Mellencamp certainly still is creating great new music. His show started with a bluesy, boozy blast of “Lawless Times” from his 2014 album “Plain Spoken,” his expressive, six-person band barreling behind him.

“John Cockers” from his 2008 disc “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” was similarly strong world’s-gone-to-hell blues, with his voice a mean growl.

And a great version of “Minutes to Memories,” a minor hit from 1986, showed just how deep Mellencamp’s catalog is.

The first hit song Mellencamp played from his 1980s heyday was the most appropriate for the location: “Small Town,” an invocation of love for the agrarian life the fair represents. But he played it far more rugged and rocky, perhaps jaded by time.

But he followed it with the growled Delta blues of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passing,” then a wicked, dirty-groove version of his hit “Pop Singer” — just in case you didn’t believe he “never wanted to write no pop songs.”

Then he dove into two of the hits fans clearly wanted to hear. “Check It Out” was even more wistful, as Mellencamp sang, “Is this all that we’ve learned about living?” and a mournful guitar and soul-searing violin soared behind him.

Then his biggest hit, “Jack & Diane,” with its prescient lyrics, “Oh yeah, life goes on/Long after the thrill of living is gone,” done alone on an acoustic guitar, with the crowd gleefully singing the choruses.

“This next song I’ve been singing for a long time, and I’ll keep singing for as long as you want to hear it,” Mellencamp told the crowd of 4,232, introducing the song.

Mellencamp returned to the present with three songs from his excellent new disc “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.” The first two were offered as duets with opening act Carleen Carter: The thumping and gritty “Grandview,” Carter singing far more emphatically than she did during her own set, and the fun and bouncy gospel number “My Soul’s Got Wings.” Then he did ”Easy Target.”

He left the stage for his fiddle player and accordionist to play an instrumental medley of his early John Cougar hits, including “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” and “I Need a Lover.”

Mellencamp returned with a run of hits, starting with the ominous warning of “Rain on the Scarecrow” — another appropriate song for the fair. The cautionary “Paper in Fire” and its lyric “We keep no check on our appetite” resonated even more in this era, and it ran right into a booming, rumbling and loud “Crumbling Down.”

A rollicking ”Authority Song” had the crowd dancing, especially when Mellencamp added a two-minute segue of the 1960s song “Land of 1,000 Dances.”

“I wrote this song when I was 26, and I still feel the same way I did when I wrote it,” Mellencamp said. “And I can tell there’s some people out here that feel the same way.”

He closed the main set with a wonderful “Pink Houses,” again bringing out Carter to sing with him. It was far more reflective and bitterly more ironic that the original — all the nuances that current country hit-maker Old Dominion so badly missed when it did a version of the song on Sunday, 8 miles away at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

Before the encore, Mellencamp talked about how members of his band have been with him 40 years, and how they talk about the old times.

“It’s only appropriate that we close the show with a song about old times,” he said before kicking into “Cherry Bomb.”

But it was as good as it was when he first sang it 30 years ago. If Mellencamp isn’t still improving, maybe it’s because he was so good to begin with.

Carter, unappreciated by a restless early crowd, opened the show with a lovely nine-song set that started with her 1993 Top 5 “Every Little Thing,” but sang none of her other hits from that era.

Instead, she included the Carter Family songs (she’s a daughter of June Carter Cash) “May the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Little Black Train.”

“That doesn’t mean that I still cannot rock like hell,” she said.

Her mother and stepfather, Johnny Cash, played the fair five times. “So I probably was here before with them,” she said.

At piano, her voice shone and soared on the lovely “Lonesome Valley,” a tribute to her mother and Cash from her recent album, “Carter Girl.”

But perhaps her best was a mournful, lovely version of “Easy From Now On,” the hit she wrote that was recorded by Emmylou Harris and, more recently, by Miranda Lambert. Again at piano, she closed with the devastating self-examination song “Change.”

6  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / JM Unleashes his 80's Heartland Rock At The Grandstand - Twin Cities on: August 30, 2017, 08:31:12 am
http://www.twincities.com/2017/08/29/mellencamp-unleashes-his-80s-heartland-rock-at-the-grandstand/

Mellencamp unleashes his ’80s heartland rock at the Grandstand


John Mellencamp performs at the concert “Sing me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. Mellencamp and his band performed at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand Tuesday night. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

By ROB HUBBARD | Special to the Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: August 29, 2017 at 11:04 pm | UPDATED: August 29, 2017 at 11:50 pm


Songs of the heartland have always been a good fit for the Minnesota State Fair. Music about life on farms and growing up in small towns has long been a staple for the artists performing at the fair’s Grandstand, where country is often king.

So perhaps it’s surprising that John Mellencamp — who for decades has been singing about those small towns and the altered expectations of its inhabitants amid economic strife — has never performed at the Grandstand … until Tuesday night.

In some ways, the Indiana-born (and still-based) Mellencamp can sound like he was raised in the same towns as so many country stars, but that he’s always viewed that landscape through a different lens.

It’s a place he loves, but he’s well acquainted with its shortcomings and the anger and despair at the lack of opportunity and fairness encountered by too many who live there. Yet he’s channeled those feelings into many a memorable song, often tapping into an exhilarating sense of commonality that can transform his simple, propulsive rockers into anthems.

On Tuesday, it seemed like Mellencamp was going to tip toward the folk and country feel that’s become a more central part of his sound over the past decade, emphasizing fiddle, accordion, harmonica and strumming acoustic guitars.

But, somewhere during the evening, he decided to unleash the rocker who first graced the radio as John Cougar back in the ‘80s. His set veered more and more toward songs from that decade and his thunderous band subsequently bludgeoned the folk feel out of the set.

On some level, that’s too bad, for the most stripped-down numbers were often the most compelling, such as when Mellencamp howled passionately on Robert Johnson’s vintage blues song, “Stones in My Passway,” accompanied only by steel guitar, upright bass and a small drum kit played with brushes.

He seemed similarly excited about “Grandview,” a blues-based rocker from his latest album for which he exchanged verses with Carlene Carter, who opened the evening with a disarmingly intimate solo set that showed June Carter Cash’s daughter has evolved into a fine singer-songwriter. It’s good to have her back after a lengthy break in her career.

Considering that Mellencamp seems to have been distancing himself from his rocking past and becoming more of a country gentleman — a persona that fit with the black suits and Kentucky colonel ties worn by him and his band — it was a surprise that 11 of the 17 songs Tuesday were from the ‘80s, from a solo acoustic take on 1982’s “Jack and Diane” (mostly a sing-along, but one botched by a crowd anxious to get to the chorus too early) to 1989’s snarling rejection of his industry, “Pop Singer.”


Yet maybe Mellencamp has realized that he likes the rock star role after all, for he certainly seemed the charismatic frontman of old — displaying energy belying his 65 years — after stripping off his jacket to perform in white T-shirt and vest for a closing collection of six ‘80s tunes. The show climaxed when a dark rumble permeated “Crumblin’ Down” and the boisterous crowd of 12,637 made the defeatist “Authority Song” sound like a joyous celebration of a common fate.

When a similar top-of-the-lungs hootenanny broke out on “Pink Houses,” it felt like country music without the drawl and twang, an all-American sing-along with a skeptical smile. Yes, Mellencamp explores the dark side of life in the fields and hamlets, but his affection for those places came through clearly on Tuesday, especially as he closed with the nostalgic “Cherry Bomb” before the fair’s fireworks blew skyward.
7  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Mellencamp Newsletter: 2nd Leg of Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Tour Starts Friday! on: August 02, 2017, 10:34:24 am
JOHN MELLENCAMP SAD CLOWNS & HILLBILLIES 2017 SUMMER TOUR RESUMES THIS FRIDAY  - TICKETS ON SALE NOW! 

Following the highly-successful first leg of the Sad Clowns & Hillbillies 2017 Tour, Mellencamp returns for a second round of Summer dates and will be joined by Special Guest Carlene Carter. Tickets are currently on sale for the last 12 shows, details onthe Mellencamp.com TOUR page.  Check out some of the fantastic show reviews from the first leg of the summer tour on the home and news page of the site:

JOHN MELLENCAMP SAD CLOWNS & HILLBILLIES 2017 SUMMER TOUR DATES August 04 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair  August 05 - Davenport, IA - Mississippi Valley Fair  August 13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena  August 14 - Boston, MA - Blue Hills Bank Pavilion  August 19 - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair   August 20 - Springfield, IL - Illinois State Fair  August 26 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival August 27 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival  August 29 - St Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair  August 31 - Allentown, PA - The Great Allentown Fair  September 01 - Essex Junction, VT - Champlain Valley Fair  September 03 - Canfield, OH - Canfield Fair

JOHN'S ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME EXHIBIT EXTENDED THROUGH EARLY 2018   The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, OH, presents a special exhibit on the life, art and music of 2008 Inductee John Mellencamp. The exhibit, which opened November 10, 2016 in the Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibition Hall, features over 100 items, including handwritten lyrics, guitars and paintings. “In working closely with John Mellencamp to create this exhibit, it was very clear that he embodies what rock and roll is all about – rebellion, being true to yourself, and, of course, making great music,” says Karen Herman, Vice President of Collections & Curatorial Affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“I would like this exhibit to let people know, or discover, that I really have spent my entire life living the way that I want to live, and doing what I want to do,” Mellencamp says. “And, that I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world for being able to do that.” Read the complete press release on Mellencamp.com, which  includes a list of some of the artifacts from John's personal collection contained in the exhibit. Learn more about the exhibit at RockHall.com. Watch the preview below.

The exhibit has received rave reviews from Mellencamp fans, put it on your list of must do's before the exhibit ends!



HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT JOHN'S NEWEST VIDEOS? "EASY TARGET & "GRANDVIEW" "Easy Target" is the first song released on John's new record Sad Clowns & Hillbillies and is his reflection on the state of our country. An outspoken artist, Mellencamp continues his journey to convey the truth through this passionate and plain-spoken song.



"Grandview," is a black-and-white video that showcases Mellencamp’s slick delivery with McBride’s powerhouse vocals — both dripping in heartland coolness. “Just an old country boy, wearing my Osh-Kosh boots / Walked by the trailer factory, every day on my way to school / Early on in life the only thing I wanted to do / Was to buy me a trailer and move it down to Grandview,” Mellencamp sings in the opening verse.  Download or stream "Easy Target" & "Grandview"  on all music services now, including iTunes and Spotify. 



Thank you for your continued support!! TonyB & SharonC - The Mellencamp.com Web Team - help@mellencamp.com

8  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Country Standard Times: Mellencamp Flexes His Creative Muscles on: June 28, 2017, 08:17:39 am
Mellencamp flexes his creative muscles
The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

By Dan MacIntosh - Country Standard Times

For his "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies" tour, John Mellencamp brought along Carlene Carter - the night's self-described hostess who appears on the recent album, as well as Emmylou Harris. Each iconic woman performed her own set, as well as joining in with the headliner's set. With Mellencamp dressed rather formally, this man introduced as being from Bloomington, Ind. put on a show both deep in content and emotion.

Mellencamp naturally, drew liberally from this latest as well as performing a large dosage of hits. The night's most moving moment took place when Mellencamp sang "Easy Target," featuring a lyric inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. In contrast to Mellencamp's usual fiddle-colored folk rock, this performance was far more subdued, with a contrasting cabaret feel. Mellencamp's voice, which has grown into a husky Tom Waits-y growl, sang it like a grizzled social commentator.

Mellencamp also performed the REM-flavored "Grandview" from the "Sad Clowns" album, while Carter chipped in the Apostle Paul-inspired "Damascus Road" from the album during her opening set. While the early part of Mellencamp's set took on a serious, bluesy vibe, he closed out the show with whole-audience sing-alongs for the rumbling "Crumblin' Down," danced to "Authority Song" (which mixed in lyrics and dance moves from "Land of 1000 Dances)," "Pink Houses" (which was transformed this night into a duet with Carter) and sent the audience home feeling nostalgic with "Cherry Bomb." Mellencamp proved there are few better at transforming socially conscious songs into a rocking dance party.

Harris preceded Mellencamp with a set of songs that expertly matched the fine singer's voice with top tier lyrical material. Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl" came early in the set, while "Pancho & Lefty," which she claimed never gets tired of singing, came along later. And calling it her favorite Merle Haggard song, Harris gave the late singer/songwriter's "Kern River" song about love and loss a feminine viewpoint.

Carter, who looks and sounds more like her mother June Carter Cash every day, opened with an acoustic guitar-backed "Every Little Thing," but also found room to sing the wonderful Carter Family gem "Gold Watch and Chain." Although they didn't get a chance to sing any of their own songs, Lily & Madeleine provided lovely harmonies for every act throughout the evening.

Tonight's audience appeared to be a mixture of Americana music fans and hardcore Mellencamp devotees. Unfortunately, many of these Mellencamp fans rudely talked loudly during Carter and Harris' sets, which drew dirty looks from some of the more eclectic audience members. It's sometimes easy to forget Mellencamp was once a big pop star, even though one song he sang ("Pop Singer") expressed his disdain for singing pop music. In fact, Mellencamp turned his smash "Jack and Diane" into an acoustic guitar accompanied throwaway, which he claimed he sings only because his audience demands it.

Mellencamp's hit making days may now behind him, but the songs on "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies" show the Midwestern roots rocker still flexing his creative muscles. And this night gave him ample opportunity to work out these well-developed strengths.

 
9  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / American Blues Scene: John Celebrates The Spirit With ‘Sad Clowns & Hillbillies on: June 28, 2017, 08:17:06 am
By Barry Kerzner - American Blues Scene

John Mellencamp has been around. He’s seen his share of what life has to offer: simple, complicated, anticipated, surprises, joys, and disappointments. Over the course of a career that began in the mid-seventies he has been nominated for 13 GRAMMY Awards, winning one. He’s had over 22 Top 40 hits, and along with Neil Young and Willie Nelson he founded Farm Aid, “an organization that works to increase awareness of the importance of family farms.” In 2008, Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Just as Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly painted pictures of daily life and struggles in their day, perhaps the two best such troubadours of our time are Mellencamp and Willie Nelson. A person would be hard pressed to find finer realistic portrayals of our country and its people today than those being written and performed by Mellencamp. What makes his glimpses into the human condition so convincing, and so accurate is their inherent honesty. His protagonists are instantly recognizable in ourselves.

More than four decades on and Mellencamp is still gifting us illuminating portraits of who we are, how we see ourselves, and how we view the world we live in. His 23rd studio album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, out on Republic Records, is a scintillating experience.

Of the album’s 13 tracks, six are written by Mellencamp himself, and three with others. His production is flawless, and along with Bob Ludwig’s mastering, and David Leonard’s engineering and superb mix, the sound quality here is rich, deep, and gratifying. The band elevates the experience, carrying these yarns and dramas along to us wrapped in a sea of layered sonic adventure. Carlene Carter joins Mellencamp on vocals for five of these performances.

It is almost alarming how easy it is to lose ourselves in these songs. We listened to the album several times through and like the intriguing partner at a dance, we wanted yet another turn.

There are performances that we particularly enjoyed. “Battle of Angels” is at once daring, and observant, looking at our dealings with others, even as the music envelopes us: “You know our life’s full of shadows, with one foot out the door. Trying to satisfy our hungers, and devouring our souls.” The gruffness of Mellencamp’s vocal on this track makes the message all the more poignant. “Grandview” harkens back to his earlier, more rock informed work and features Martina McBride on vocals and Izzy Stradlin on guitar. It’s a look at wants versus realties and the comfort of simplicity.

“Indigo Sunset” draws us in with its simple elegance clothed in rough edges. “What kind of Man Am I” is a painfully truthful gaze into the protagonists’ soul as he himself examines it. This is potent introspection, and merciless insight. The vocals and the music itself heighten the delivery and impact of this examination. “Damascus Road” is another song where a person takes a deep dive into their own soul: “I could suddenly see the good and bad in both sides of me.” This is yet another compelling journey inside our own psyches.

Sad Clowns & Hillbillies is without question a contemporary masterpiece. This is some of the best writing and music that Mellencamp has ever been kind enough to share with us. He provides a perspective that is still as unadorned, honest and witty as ever, but more perceptive with the experience of growing older.
10  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ticket & Tour Questions / Re: Sad Clowns And Hillbillies VIP Tour Package Merchandise on: June 27, 2017, 07:53:36 pm
Tony/Sharon;

Just some kudos here, I think the merchandise in this package has been the best package yet! Especially the nice Mellencamp tour themed poster!

-Large tour themed Mellencamp poster
-Hat
-Best VIP laminate yet (album cover)
-Water bottle
-Bottle opener keychain

Thank you! We put a lot of thought into this package. Glad you like it!
11  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Mellencamp Newsletter: Farm Aid 2017 Announced - Pre-Sale Tickets 6/15 @ 10AM ET on: June 13, 2017, 01:07:46 pm
FARM AID BRINGS 2017 MUSIC AND FOOD FESTIVAL TO THE KEYBANK PAVILION, BURGETTSTOWN, PA  SEPT. 16TH
Farm Aid announced today that its annual food and music festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16th, 2017, at KeyBank Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA, with tickets going on sale to the public on Friday, June 23rd.

Farm Aid 2017, an all-day music and food festival, will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Insects vs Robots.
Before the most recent Farm Aid concert in Bristow, VA, Sept. 17, 2016, at a pre-show press conference, Mellencamp said someone remarked to him: "Farm Aid, you guys still doing that?" He retorted: "You still eating?" Read the complete press release on Mellencamp.com.

MELLENCAMP.COM FARM AID PRE-SALE TICKETS ON SALE THURS. JUNE 15
We will be offering a limited number of tickets, including covered reserved seats, non-roof covered reserved seats, and general admission lawn tickets, in a Mellencamp.com free member pre-sale on Thursday, June 15th, beginning at 10 AM EDT through Friday, June 23rd ending at 10 PM, or whenever our allotment runs out - supplies are limited. The pre-sale tickets will be offered through Live Nation using a password posted on the Mellencamp.com TOUR page for logged in members. Read THIS tutorial to learn how our pre-sale works. Please watch our TOUR page for more details.
 
FARM AID TICKET DETAILS - STAY CONNECTED TO FARM AID!
FarmAid.org's ticket pre-sale gives you access to the best seats in the house - before the tickets go on sale to the public. The FarmAid.org presale starts tomorrow, Wednesday, June 14th, at noon EDT - visit farmaid.org/tickets for all the information you need!
Public Ticket Sale
Tickets for Farm Aid 2017 go on sale on Friday, at 10 AM. EDT. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $199.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com, the venue box office and by phone at (800) 745-3000. 

Road2FarmAid
Farm Aid galvanizes family farmers, activists, advocates and eaters to stand up to corporate power in support of a farm and food system that is good for people and communities, not just for the profits of a few. Every action we take - seeking out family farm food, voting with ballots and our forks, sharing good food with family and friends - shifts the power in our food system. Get on the #Road2FarmAid! Show us how you make change a road2.farmaid.org and you could win tickets to Farm Aid 2017.
Get Connected
For the latest concert updates and information all summer long, like Farm Aid on Facebook, and follow @Farmaid on Twitter and Instagram. Keep an eye out for the Farm Aid 2017 app for iPhone and Android, coming soon!

AARP: JOHN MELLENCAMP - WHAT I NOW KNOW
The roots rocker, 65, meditates on songwriting, aging, and his good and not-so-good habits. Read Edna Gundersen's complete Q & A on how the rock great reflects on his career, art and relationships and view several new paintings in the June/July issue of AARP Magazine.   

Thank you for your continued support!!
TonyB & SharonC - The Mellencamp.com Web Team - help@mellencamp.com


12  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Opening Night Set List in Denver on: June 06, 2017, 11:05:03 am
Set List - Denver, CO June 5, 2017

13  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Video & Audio / Full Show + What Kind of Man Am I, Easy Target & Grandview from iHeart 9/27/2017 on: May 16, 2017, 08:49:43 am
On the eve of John's new release Sad Clowns & Hillbillies John performed at the iHeartRadio Theatre in Tribeca for an intimate concert for fans. He talked with Jim Kerr and performed a set including new songs and old classics. Watch the entire show below.

 

Easy Target



What Kind Of Man Am I



Grandview

14  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Stereoboard 4 Out of 5 Star Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Review on: May 05, 2017, 07:45:26 am

By Simon Ramsay - Stereoboard
For obvious reasons, the US is currently enduring one of the most turbulent periods in its history. So the prospect of plainspoken singer-songwriter John Mellencamp returning with a passionate, scathing diatribe about the current state of his nation was an exciting one. Ever the contrarian, though, ‘Sad Clowns & Hillbillies’ is instead a surprisingly uplifting comeback that’s less protest piece and more existential comfort blanket.

You wouldn’t necessarily expect an album with this title to perk you up, but the record, the 23rd in a career that has seen the everyman from Indiana become one of America’s greatest songwriters, does just that thanks to its origins and the contributions of country songwriter and vocalist Carlene Carter.

Daughter of June Carter and stepdaughter to Johnny Cash, Carlene worked with Mellencamp on both Stephen King’s ‘Ghost Brothers of Darkland County’, and the movie score of Ithaca before supporting him during a recent tour.

During that time the pair decided to write brand new songs in the style of an old religious country album, but once they began crafting material the record evolved into a panoramic take on American roots music coloured by a stirring undercurrent of humanity and spirituality.
The gospel joy of My Soul’s Got Wings – which Mellencamp crafted from unused Woody Guthrie lyrics – and brooding revelation of Carter’s Damascus Road may be the only two overtly religious songs, but that sense of faith, hope and a higher purpose still courses through this record’s veins. The visceral What Kind Of Man Am I, for example, is reminiscent of Cash’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt. It begins as an old man’s tortured confession but halfway through the band kicks in and Carter arrives to offer salvation, taking an incredibly dark piece and flooding it with redemption.

Throughout, her mellifluous vocals bring light to Mellencamp’s shade. On Dixieland stomper Sugar Hill Mountain, a gloriously anachronistic piece that sounds like it should be blaring out of a gramophone, Carter oozes feelgood escapism, while helping to transform the potentially mournful nostalgia of Indigo Sunset into a beautiful, treasured memory. She also brings out a sprightlier side of her musical partner, with Sad Clowns a jazz-inflected, tongue-in-cheek number that’s vintage Ray Davies.

What’s more, the self-professed curmudgeon even gifts fans a cracking throwback moment in Grandview. Written with his cousin Bobby Clark in the early ‘90s, its smouldering rock ‘n’ roll groove is driven by Izzy Stradlin’s gritty guitar, former Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch’s swinging beats and a sassy vocal contribution from Martina McBride. If hearing this doesn’t make you feel alive, you’re probably not.



Where Mellencamp’s last two records were musically sparse affairs, ‘Sad Clowns…’ is a bountiful production featuring sublime instrumentation and orchestration. Gospel backing singers, pianos, organs and dobros all interweave with acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars to create a fittingly upbeat canvas that helps conveys the record’s thematic focus. The results make for somewhat philosophical, didactic and cathartic vignettes about reconciling our perfectly imperfect character traits, finding purpose in this world and walking a meaningful path.
Although a departure from what’s preceded it, the album climaxes with a potent sting in its tail. Easy Target is a bitingly raw protest number about racial discrimination and poverty where Mellencamp’s smoke-stained vocals resemble Tom Waits and pack a sage punch. Signing off with the line “Easy targets, a country’s broken heart”, its weighty sentiments remind us of ongoing injustices that should never be ignored.

We’d have loved a full record in that style, but what the world needs right now is optimism and something to fortify the human spirit in the face of enveloping adversity. ‘Sad Clowns & Hillbillies’ isn’t necessarily the Mellencamp record we wanted, but it may just be the one we need.
15  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Announcements & Updates / Watch John's Interview and Performance on The Today Show on: May 03, 2017, 12:13:29 pm
John Mellencamp tells The Today Show that “it took about three seconds” to come up with the name of his new album, “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.” He also talks about how he came to collaborate on it with Carlene Carter, daughter of country music legend June Carter Cash: “It was very organic, how it turned out.” Watch the interview below and view John and Carlene performing "Grandview," "Pink Houses," "Small Town," and "Indiogo Sunset" from the show.

 

John is joined by Carlene Carter for a rousing performance of Mellencamp’s 1984 hit “Pink Houses” live in the Today show studio watch it HERE.

John jokingly tells Hoda Kotb Sad Clowns & Hillbillies is “an age-appropriate rock record.” He is joined by Carlene for a live performance of “Grandview” in the studio, watch it HERE.

Carlene joins John for a live performance of one of the songs on the new release, “Indigo Sunset.,” watch it HERE.

Carlene joined John for a live performance of his 1985 hit “Small Town,” watch it HERE.

 

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 37
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

 

WEBSITE & CONTENTS © JOHN MELLENCAMP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.             PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS OF USE | CONTACT

 

Email Updates! Home Powered by BubbleUp,Ltd. John Mellencamp on YouTube.com John Mellencamp on Wikipedia John Mellencamp on MySpace.com John Mellencamp on Facebook.com John Mellencamp on Twitter.com John Mellencamp on iLike.com John Mellencamp on Pandora.com John Mellencamp on LastFM.com John Mellencamp on Imeem.com